I had been invited by Henry to attend a garden party that was being held at Mountfields House in Loughborough. The owners of the house were kind enough to allow their gardens and tea room to be used. The event had been arranged to raise money for the church. Henry had been invited and was asked to bring a guest. As we had not seen each other that much, it would be a good opportunity for us boys to get together.
When we arrived there were lots of people in the garden. Henry knew some of them and shook hands with them. We made our way into the tea room. I had never seen a building like it. The doors and the whole building were made of glass. Inside there were many pillars and each of them had gas lamps on the top of them. The floor was made of marble and around the room there were plants and flowers. We sat down to chat with some ladies from the church and then after an hour the events that had been arranged started.
The first thing was a play that was performed. A small stage had been erected and instead of chairs, we sat on the grass. We had a small picnic box, champagne and all were placed on a blanket. The actors took to the stage. It was all very dramatic and like most plays I had seen, there was always an unexpected ending.
The ladies had entered a competition to paint the finest and best butterfly. There were many of them in the garden and all different types. I was interested and walked around watching them as they painted. I couldn’t help myself and offered my help and guidance.
Henry Shouted to me to come quick and as I did there was a woman sat at a table. A banner above her head said Madame Bonnet Palm Reader
I laughed and headed over.
“Come on Lawrence my man, you should be an expert at this with your granny getting her crystal ball out”
“Very funny Henry, but I will go over just to see if she is genuine or not.”
I had to wait a while the queue was quite long. Then it was my turn. I sat down and she introduced herself. She then asked me to turn my hand over and place it in hers. She closed her eyes for about 5 mins and said a few words. I couldn’t understand what she was saying. She then looked down on my palm.
“I can see great hurt in your life. Your heart has been torn in two and you long for it to ease. A see a small child sitting in a crib and looking around. He calls out for his mother, but nobody comes.”
“I do have a son back in France, my wife died suddenly and my son has been left with no Mother.”
“You must know that although he has no mother he feels the love from everyone around.” “He sees his mother as well, she comes to him in the night and soothes him when he cannot sleep.”
“You will travel back to your home very soon and will meet a young lady that will bring hope and love to you again.” “She will help you with your life passion.”
“What is that then?
“I see many colours. “ “They are being mixed together.” “I am being shown an image of a woman and it is hung on a wall.”
I was totally taken back by what she said, Everything was accurate, but the one about the girl had me puzzled.
“There is one other thing that I must tell you.” “You have a gift, you hear and sense people that have passed over.”
“The woman that you meet will be the same, only she keeps this hidden away.” “I see someone kneeling and praying and holding a crucifix.”
I thanked the woman and came away, a little upset. She had spoken about things that were very personal. If I wasn’t that convinced at the beginning about her, by the end I was. How could she know the things she told me. She didn’t know me and nobody else did really.
I went to find Henry and asked him to come and have a drink with me. I needed one after that. We went to the main house. Not many people were allowed in here, but Henry knew them well. After having a few drinks, Henry suggested we explore the house. After all, how often do you get to be in somewhere like this?
Downstairs were two main rooms and entrance or reception room. The main stairs were in this part of the house. We decided to go upstairs. At the top, we took a left and along the corridor. There were three more rooms and a large bathroom. At the end were two more rooms that were bedrooms. The bedrooms looked out onto the gardens at the back where a huge oak tree that was growing. Henry had heard that there was a secret passageway in the house. It had been put in as an escape in case there was a fire or even a war. It would also make a good hiding place.
Next, we went through a door and up two more flights of stairs.
“ I wonder where this passageway is Lawrence?
“I have no idea, but to find it you need to think that it’s disguised and something that is not obvious. “
We looked around and couldn’t find anything and then Lawrence spotted something.
“It looks like somewhere you would hang a picture as it has a wooden frame around it.”
“Look Closely Henry.”
I looked but couldn’t see anything.
“The wallpaper is patterned but if you get close, you can see a handle.”
“I would have to be an artist to spot that, wouldn’t I?
Lawrence pulled on the handle and it opened. It was dark inside and I couldn’t see anything.
“Shall we go in?
“Why not, we have found it now.”
We crawled into the small hole and pulled the door behind.
“Mind your head in here Lawrence it’s a bit low.”
I did as Henry said and we crawled along and then found some stairs hidden away. We started to walk down them, they went around and around and then they stopped.
“I wonder where we are now?
Henry pushed a small box out of the way and behind was another door. He opened it and grabbed my arm.
“Look, Lawrence, look where we are?
“Where are we?
“At the back of the house. “This is the servants part of the house and the kitchen is just over there.”
We crept out and pushed the door shut. As we walked around the corner I could see the main stairs again.
“That was so exciting Henry, us finding that passageway.”
“It was Lawrence, many people have spoken about it, but I never thought it was real.” “Well not until today.”
“Are you going to tell anyone you found it?
“It would spoil the fun for someone else if I did, so let’s keep quiet.”
We rejoined everyone outside just in time to hear a speech from the church and also the owner of the house.
The day had been a great success and they had raised £500 pounds.
Before we left I had one more walk around the house. As I was downstairs in the back room I heard people talking, but that wasn’t possible as I was the only one here. It was two women talking to each other about the furniture not being in the right place. I went out of the room and saw nobody. I went back in and heard it again. A cold chill went up my spine and the room was freezing. It really scared me so I left in a hurry and found Henry.
“Lawrence, you look like you have seen a ghost, are you alright?
“I just need to get out of here.”
We walked down the long drive and took a right. It was quite a way from home, but the further away I got from the house, the better I felt until finally, I arrived home